For the first time since it was established in 2000, Beyond Blue has launched a major fundraising campaign to support people with depression and anxiety - and their families.
Beyond Blue’s Support Service was contacted more than 160,000 times in the past year. Demand for this 24/7 service and other Beyond Blue resources grew 44 per cent last year and continues to increase.
Beyond Blue Chairman, The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC, said: “The organisation continues to receive great support from all governments for its core work, but as demand for its direct services grows it is time to reach out for help from the community.
“It costs $48 each time a mental health professional at our Support Service responds to a person in need,” Mr Kennett said. “Beyond Blue is calling on all those who want to help ease the burden of mental health to have a BASH at fundraising at work, at school or in their sports club.
“We need help to keep this free service running,” Mr Kennett said. “Sell a couple of dozen cupcakes and you could raise enough money to cover a Support Service call – a call that could save a life. Organise an event and you could save many.”
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said maintaining Beyond Blue’s many free services and information resources required enormous, on-going commitment.
“Research and evaluation underpins all Beyond Blue’s work,” she said. “In 15 years Beyond Blue has invested nearly $65 million in depression, anxiety and suicide prevention research and programs while 80 million information resources have been distributed nationwide.
“Besides the Support Service, last year there were 8.2 million visits to our website and the information on it. Hundreds of Speakers and Ambassadors told their stories which we know breaks down stigma and every month 1500 people joined our online forums.”
Anyone, anywhere, anytime can organise a Beyond Blue BASH and help fund programs such as:
- $1000 trains a coordinator to support a someone after hospitalisation for a suicide attempt;
- $270 for a session with a NewAccess coach to help people recover from anxiety or depression;
- $110 funds a Beyond Blue Speaker or Ambassador whose storytelling helps reduce stigma;
- $30 covers producing and posting free information packs to anyone, anywhere in Australia.
TV and online advertisements featuring Beyond Blue board director Johanna Griggs will be screened in coming weeks.
“Beyond Blue has amazing fundraisers,” said Ms Griggs. “Ordinary people, but to us, fundraising legends.”
Many of Beyond Blue’s Fundraising Legends have been touched by suicide, experienced depression or anxiety themselves, or know someone who has.